MEP Clara Ponsati – the exiled former Catalan minister and St Andrews University academic – has no plans to try to re-enter Spain after temporarily regaining her parliamentary immunity.

She, along with Carles Puigdemont, the former president and Toni Comin, another minister, had their immunity suspended six months ago after a majority of MEPs approved the move.

The trio face arrest should they try to re-enter Spain, which has been pursuing them over their part in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.

Now, with their immunity restored for the time being, Ponsati said: “Entering Spain? Right now the threat of political persecution within Spain has not diminished and it is the EU’s job to enforce European resolutions. So right now we have no plans to do that.”

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Her lawyer Aamer Anwar said the European Union had shown nothing but complicity and cowardice by failing to defend the democratic rights of the Catalan people, and withdrawing immunity was “an attack on the very principles of justice and democracy that the parliament is supposed to uphold”.

He told The National: “The decision of the court to provisionally suspend the parliamentary decision was an important battle to win, but we have still not won the war. The next stage is to convince the European Court of Justice that the immunity must not be revoked.

“In the meantime Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is toying with the idea of pardons for the Catalan political prisoners, yet I ask what crime have they committed for them to be pardoned.” Anwar said jailed leaders and exiles had carried out the democratic mandate of the Catalan people and Spain had in turn committed crimes against them.

He added: “If there is anyone that Sanchez should be seeking a pardon for then it is the Spanish state that has abused the rule of law. It is extremely sad that whilst masquerading as a socialist, Sanchez still jumps to the tune of the ghost of Fascist Franco.”

Puigdemont said: “It is an important decision, because it sets a precedent that, for the first time immunity is returned to some MEPs [after] it had been withdrawn.”